Barcelona have become the latest big side to struggle away to Elche, dropping points in a 0-0 draw on Sunday. This keeps a lengthy home undefeated streak intact for the hosts -- the last time they lost at their own ground was in December, and they've allowed just two goals in their last 10 home games.
In keeping with their usual style, Elche packed men behind the ball and prioritized keeping their shape ahead of counter attacking. Given that they're still technically threatened by relegation, it's not a bad plan, and it proved pretty effective against Barcelona. The Blaugrana's best chance of the first half came in the 13th minute, when Andres Iniesta struck the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors dominated the half, but couldn't come up with anything better than that.
This trend continued into the second half, with Barcelona growing more and more frustrated as the match went on. They almost gave up a winner to Elche in the 79th minute when Richmond Boakye got out on the break and found Garry Mendes with a brilliant pass, but he blazed over the crossbar from 12 yards when he should have scored.
Gerardo Martino reacted to that by making a substitution, bringing Xavi into the game in place of Cesc Fabregas. Unfortunately for Barcelona, it was not the catalyst that led to a goal.
Fortunately for the Blaugrana, their situation remains unchanged from before this match. Because Atlético Madrid drew Malaga, Barcelona will win the title with a victory on the final day, but will lose the title with a draw or a loss.
Elche: Yague, Suarez, Rodriguez, Pelegrin, Domingo, Perez, Gil (Boakye 79'), Moreno (Rivera 75'), Sanchez, Mendes, Coro (Fidel 89')
Barcelona: Pinto, Adriano, Mascherano, Bartra, Alves, Busquets, Cesc (Xavi 81'), Iniesta, Alexis, Messi, Pedro (Tello 68')